Every year, the Christmas season on Amelia Island officially kicks off the day after Thanksgiving. Locals and tourists alike don their Christmas PJs and go shopping in downtown historic Fernandina Beach to score those Black Friday deals. It’s small-town fun at its finest, and we love to see our guests at The Addison participate in this island tradition!
Once December hits, the Christmas festivities take over the town, starting with our beloved traditions—the Holiday Home Tour and Dickens on Centre.
Fortunately, The Addison is in the heart of it all. We’re close enough to the action that guests can walk to the holiday celebrations, but far enough away that our inn provides a peaceful respite on their return. Much to their delight, Ron and I welcome guests back at night with true Southern hospitality—a glass of wine and appetizers during our evening Happy Hour.
Here’s a sneak peek of our two most popular Christmas traditions on Amelia Island.
Holiday Home Tour
This year’s Holiday Home Tour takes place December 6-7 (10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.), marking the 13th year that Amelia Island Museum of History brings the Christmas magic to our community. What can you expect to see? Five Victorian homes in historic Fernandina Beach, including our next-door neighbor, decked out with holiday flair, courtesy of our talented local florists. Plan to spend about 45-60 minutes in each home for an up-close look at beautiful renovations, family heirlooms, and preserved historic elements intertwined with the Christmas spirit of a bygone era. For example, at the Maier home, you can hear the stories behind the owners’ unique collection of Santas.
Insider’s Tip: This popular tour attracts big crowds! Avoid long lines to enter the homes by going a bit later in the day and touring the homes in a different order rather than starting at the first house listed on the tour. Grab your Holiday Home Tour tickets online.
Dickens on Centre
The following weekend, Dickens on Centre takes over the historic downtown area. Ron and I look forward to the festival’s newest addition: the inaugural Dickens Illuminated Procession, which takes place on Thursday, December 12, from 5 pm to 8 pm and will proceed right in front of the inn! Then the rest of the weekend (December 13-15) is brimming with festivities!
Now in its fifth year, Dickens on Centre transforms Fernandina Beach into a charming, Victorian-inspired holiday village, complete with a full slate of activities and entertainment. This free, family-friendly event draws visitors near and far to experience costumed characters, magical holiday lights, music, theatrical performances, visits with Saint Nick, and plenty of options for seasonal gifts and holiday shopping. It’s fun to watch the locals dress up in Victorian costumes, immersing themselves in the Christmas spirit. Even pets get in on the action, with the Parade of Paws on Saturday!
Check out the complete Dickens on Centre event schedule to map out what you’d like to experience.
Celebrate the Christmas Magic
Despite being known as a beach community and a summer destination, Amelia Island transforms into a holiday wonderland that rivals Santa’s Workshop. This is honestly one of the best times of year to visit Amelia Island, and we’re lucky enough to be able to share this festive time with our guests.
If you’d like to join us this holiday season at The Addison, we’d love to have you! Our rooms book up fast at this time of year, so I encourage you to make reservations soon. Also, if you’re looking for a unique gift for someone on your holiday shopping list, consider purchasing a holiday gift card to treat someone special to a relaxing stay at The Addison on Amelia Island.